To average one post a fortnight (at least!): time for the perilous post number two!
If post number one is about declaring one’s intentions boldly to the world, post number two is needed to solidify the situation. I am not a one opinion wonder, I am here to stay!
So, I said I like books… Then why call a blog “One Day I Will Read“? The truth is, even though I seem to spend most of the day not doing very much at all, I’m a very slow reader. This wasn’t always the case: as a preteen and even a teenager, I would spend almost all of my freetime reading and was much faster at it than I am now. I blame the internet for significantly weakening my concentration and even reading skills. Unfortunately online reading is much more about skimming a text to find the information that matters than appreciating the mastery of the writing, and all the blinking images and other distractions constantly test the reader’s attention span. And mine seems to have shortened alarmingly since the age of about 15.
Secondly, I am in the habit of ending up reading if not massive, at least slightly longer, books, which tend to take their time to finish. It took me about six months of active reading to get through Tolstoy‘s Anna Karenina, which I did enjoy very much (possibly more about that later). Hilary Mantel‘s Wolf Hall, on the other hand, was more effort than pleasure to read, and I consequently spent nearly three months on it (definitely more about this one later). My most recent project was Michael Ondaatje‘s The English Patient, which I should have been able to read in three or four days. Instead, it took me nearly three weeks!
Finally, the worst reason of them all: despite studying English Literature, there are too many classics out there that I confess not having read, not to mention all the new works that I’m supposed to be consuming. Plus all the books that I’m not actually keen on reading but should, because it’s important to know what’s out there. And they just keep printing more and more! Help! Too many books, too little time!
So, these are the issues I try to tackle by making reading lists, reading according to themes (I had a classics theme running last summer, which lasted about three books), and now trying to write about books. Therefore the next post will feature my first ever book review, the subject of which will be Ondaatje’s Booker Prize winner The English Patient.